In her memoir, according to Kirkus, Ginger Alden tells the chronological story of how she first met the King when she was five years old and her father was a Public Relations Officer in the army in Memphis.
She met the music icon at a local fairground when Elvis recognized her father and walked over to say hello. He patted the little girl on her head. Fast forward to November 1976 when Alden’s sister, Terry, the reigning Miss Tennessee, was invited to Graceland to meet Elvis and her sisters, Rosemary and Ginger, went along.
Ginger gushed, ‘I know this sounds funny but when Elvis entered the room, I thought trumpets would sound. He looked so handsome. He quickly sat in a chair and started talking with each of us. It turned out to be a truly wonderful evening as he took us on a tour of Graceland.
‘Later he sang for us and read aloud from some of his books about religion’.
Alden was two decades younger than Elvis and twenty at the time when she got caught up in life at Graceland and he began showering her with presents of jewels, three cars including a Lincoln Continental, furs and promises his death would prevent him from keeping.
Nash writes that Alden was a reluctant girlfriend who was put off by his drug use and still involved with a boyfriend in Memphis. But she was encouraged by her mother, Jo LaVern Alden, a serious Elvis fan, to hang in there with the King.
Jo had taken her little girl to Graceland to peer through the big iron gates, she was such an Elvis fan.
To motivate Ginger to accompany him on tour, Elvis even promised to pay for landscaping at her mother’s house as well as pay off her mortgage. That payout would be an issue the mother would take to court after Elvis’s death. And she would win.
While Ginger writes glowingly about being at his shows, Elvis often motivated her to travel with him by flying in her family as well.
He proposed to Alden in his bathroom at Graceland on January 26, 1977. ‘When January 26th came, I felt as I had known Elvis longer than a few months. Our relationship had been so intense as if he wanted me to know almost everything about him in a short time.
I knew I had fallen in love and couldn’t imagine not being with him.
His cousin Billy had told me how Elvis would come in from riding motorcycles, fall across the bed and say, ‘there must be someone out there for me’. We had been together a short time but I felt I had found my soul mate’.
Elvis presented the 11.5 carat diamond engagement ring worth $70,000 made from his TCB (Taking Care of Business) ring he wore on stage saying, ‘I never thought that I would find it in my own backyard, I’m asking you, will you marry me’?
‘I was so happy as he presented a green velvet box, opened it and placed a very large and beautiful diamond ring on my finger. My hand was shaking as we kissed and stepped out of the bathroom into the bedroom. My hand was still trembling as he kept lifting it to look at the ring saying, ‘oh boy’.
Ginger was a witness in early March 1977 to the signing of Elvis’s Last Will and Testament but there was no mention of her in the document.
Immediately after Elvis’s will was signed, he went to Hawaii with an entourage of thirty including the Alden’s sisters — Rosemary and Terry. They all checked into the Rainbow Towers, Hilton Hawaiian Village Hotel but Elvis would move out with Ginger and into a rented beach house in Kailua, on the other side of the Island.
He relaxed on the beach, played touch football, went shopping, watched television, played ping pong and ate cheeseburgers, pizza, barbecue dinners — before promising he’d go on a diet when he got back to Memphis.
‘My time with Elvis was so special and the Hawaiian vacation was a lot of fun’, Ginger said.
It was to be his last vacation, but it was cut short when he got sand in his eye and scratched his cornea. He wanted a doctor in Memphis to check it out.
‘I stayed at Graceland and administered eye cream for a few days so I could help him be prepared for his next tour.’
The King couldn’t fall asleep, and he didn’t want to disturb the beauty queen who was about to become his wife.
‘I’m going into the bathroom to read.’
Those were the words Elvis Presley uttered to his fiancée Ginger Alden in the early morning hours of August 16, 1977, at his Memphis mansion, Graceland. And they were the last words he would ever speak.
‘Okay, but don’t fall asleep,’ she responded, fearing he would zone out while sitting on the john. She went to bed, leaving his reading light on for him when he returned.
When Alden woke up hours later at 2 pm and noticed Elvis’ reading light still on, she knocked on the bathroom door, called his name and opened the door. ‘That’s when I saw him in there’.
She reveals she found him slumped over on the bathroom floor. ‘I didn’t want to think he was dead. God wouldn’t want to take him so soon’. She pressed the intercom in the bedroom at Graceland that rang in the kitchen and called for help.
Source from: http://www.dailymail.co.uk
Information provided by Linda Zabriskie Johnson
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